Two Thirds of Americans Dislike Bush’s Handling of Iraq: Poll

March 21st, 2006 - by admin

Agence France-Presse – 2006-03-21 23:09:25

Two Thirds of Americans Dislike Bush’s Handling of Iraq: Poll
Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON (March 18, 2006) — More than two thirds of Americans think President George W. Bush is mishandling events in Iraq and almost a third believe civil war in the country is imminent, according to a Harris poll.

More US adults are pessimistic about the situation in Iraq since the bombing of the Askariya shrine and the ensuing sectarian violence, a nationwide survey found.

Sixty-eight percent of those interviewed gave a negative rating of Bush’s current handling of events in Iraq, and 30 percent were positive.

The president’s ratings slipped from a previous survey in January, in which 61 percent were negative and 36 percent positive.

Asked about the possibility of a civil war in Iraq in the next six months, 30 percent of those polled said that such a war was very or extremely likely, with another 20 percent saying it was likely.

Sixty-one percent doubted that US policy in Iraq would be successful, up from 55 percent in January, while only 20 percent were confident, compared with 26 percent previously.

The Harris poll confirmed a growing erosion of public support for Bush’s policy in Iraq. A Gallup survey published Thursday showed support for keeping US troops in Iraq had reached its lowest point since the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein on March 20, 2003.

The Harris online survey was conducted among 2,435 US adults between March 8 and 14.

US Public’s Iraq Gloom Rises
Frank James / The Chicago Tribune

(March 16, 2006) — The Pew Research Center for People and the Press has just emailed a press release on a new poll on the American public’s attitudes towards the Iraq situation. It’s the latest in a series of surveys to indicate that the public is losing faith that Iraq will turn out well. Read the press release below.

Optimism about the prospect for establishing democracy in Iraq has declined sharply. Fewer than half of Americans (49%) now say that the US is likely to succeed in establishing a stable democratic government in Iraq, down from 57% in December and 55% as recently as last month.

As the third anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq approaches, public support for keeping US troops in Iraq has reached its lowest point and assessments of progress there have turned significantly more negative than they were just a few months ago. Americans used such terms as “a mess,” “chaos,” “terrible,” “sad,” and “disaster” when asked to describe the situation in a single word.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 8-12 among 1,405 Americans, also finds:

* A sharp rise in the number of Americans who believe the US is “losing ground” in preventing a civil war among the country’s religious and ethnic groups. Two-thirds (66%) say the US is losing ground in preventing a civil war in Iraq, up from 48% in January.
* Half of the public says that the US should bring its troops home from Iraq as soon as possible, compared with 44% who say we should remain until the situation has stabilized. The number favoring an immediate withdrawal is up only slightly from January (48%), but represents the highest measure of support for a troop pullout since the war began.
* Seven-in-ten now believe that President Bush lacks a clear plan for ending the war successfully, the highest number expressing that view in surveys dating to September 2003. Fully 89% of Democrats and 79% of independents believe Bush lacks a clear plan on resolving the conflict, but 40% of Republicans share this opinion.

This survey is for immediate release. It is available in PDF format by clicking here.

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